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Coca-Cola bankrolls Channel 4 women’s football show ahead of the World Cup


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

April 10, 2019 | 4 min read

Soda giant and Fifa partner Coca-Cola is helping to “shine a light” on women’s football in the UK by partnering with Channel 4 to support a new show exploring the world's top fixtures.

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Coca-Cola bankrolls greater coverage of women’s football with Channel 4 sponsorship

Women’s Football World, presented by Clare Balding, will look at the women’s game, jumping across the USA, Germany, Uefa Champions League, England’s WSL, Italy and France. Balding will tour the show each week to a new club, stadium or training ground to bring viewers closer to the inner workings of the women’s game.

Coca-Cola GB senior brand manager Andrea Bombrini said that it is “an exciting time for women’s football”.

“With a longstanding heritage of supporting the game at all levels, from grassroots to the world stage and via our partnership with Fifa Women’s World Cup, we hope the new show shines a light on the incredible talent in women’s football and brings fans even closer to the game.”

Simon Wells, partnership controller at Channel 4, added: “This is a great moment in Channel 4’s history and we are delighted that Coca-Cola, an organisation with long-standing commitment to football initiatives have partnered with us on our very first show dedicated to women in football. Investing in women’s football will supercharge our commitment to diversity and we could not be more excited to have one of the country’s top sports presenters, Clare Balding, leading the programme which will give the nation exclusive insight into the world of women’s football.”

Channel 4 has broadcast football in multiple instances over the last few decades, its Football Italia show from the early 90s is fondly remembered, and more recently it showed matches from the Women’s Euros in 2017. The Women’s Euro semi-final attracted Britain’s highest ever audience for women’s football, peaking at 4.2 million in 2017 (England were beaten 3-0 by the Netherlands).

Around this new show, Channel 4 said it plans to build a women’s football community on Channel 4 across its digital and social channels with short-form content from freestyle footballer and influencer, Liv Cooke.

With the Fifa Women’s World Cup coming to France this summer the brand and broadcaster are taking advantage of unparalleled interest in the sport, examining the best football action from the biggest and most prominent leagues in the world including USA, Germany, Uefa Champions League, England’s WSL, Italy and France.

It comes after some significant movements in the space, chiefly Barclay’s multi-million pound three-year deal of the Women’s Super League and even more recently Boots announcing that it now sponsors all of the national teams in the UK and Ireland. There’s been an uptick in female-facing brands entering football, most notably marked by Avon’s 2017 partnership with Liverpool FC.

Fifa is planning to get one billion people watching this coming World Cup. Channel 4 and Coca-Cola's efforts will help build these audiences.

Writing in The Drum, James Anderson, business director at Publicis Sport and Entertainment, said: "Brands who genuinely care about the agenda will be rewarded."

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